facing fears + tackling my teeth

2018. A new year. Another 365 days of possibilities. I have to be honest that for the last while I've been feeling uninspired and unmotivated as a blogger. I've been spending much more of my time over on Instagram instead of the blog, but even there I felt like my creative juices were drying up.

I've become increasingly jaded by the perfectly curated image so many influencers present. And I've been equally perplexed that influencers and followers alike (myself included sometimes) are drawn to that surreally polished "lifestyle". Those posts trend. Big.

Now, I don't think there's anything wrong with putting our best foot forward. But what does it mean if the only moments worth sharing are the "perfect" ones? The ones with effortless outfits and no double chins?

What does it say about us if the content we like best is as simple as pretty girl + latte + expensive handbag + peace fingers?

I mean, I appreciate caffeine and Chanel as much as the next gal but it starts to feel formulaic, don't you think? And yet it trends. This has been on my mind a lot lately.

​If I look back on the 2+ years since I hit "PUBLISH", the numbers tell the story. The content you folks have gobbled up has been those times I went way outside my comfort zone and dug deep.

When I talked about disordered eating, body image, personal triumphs, my brush with cancer, that time I quit the government, and renewing my commitment to myself.

So this year I'm making a conscious choice to get uncomfortable more often.

Coming up in 2018:

- my phobia of the dentist and my lifelong hatred of my teeth

- the body neutrality movement and more inclusive style

- my favourite women who are blazing trails in their industries

- my (winding) journey toward balance in a society that rewards extremes

You with me?

First up: my teeth.

what's in a smile?

Whether you've been following since the beginning or just since last week, you may have noticed something about my photos:

I never EVER show my teeth when I smile.

Not in my outfit shots, not in my wedding photos, not ever. Unless someone catches me off guard or the photographer is reasonably far away, you will never see my teeth.

I grew up in a small town in a working class family. When I was little, trips to the dentist simply weren't possible because we couldn't afford it. Eventually my mom (who is my absolute hero) secured basic dental coverage through her job, and we started going for cleanings and exams.

From the get-go I remember the dentist telling me my teeth were naturally quite yellow and very crowded. He mentioned the crowding every visit. In an effort to reduce the crowding, I had all my wisdom teeth removed on my 16th birthday. Fun, eh? But unfortunately, it didn't solve the crowding issue. Soon afterward I went for a consult with an orthodontist, but braces were a no-go. They were hugely expensive and were deemed cosmetic.

In 2000, I moved to Ottawa for university and I'd pop back to my hometown dentist every so often, but I absolutely loathed the place. When my coverage as a student ran out, I gave up on the dentist completely.

Fast forward to 2018. I now work in a career I adore, one where presenting a polished image plays a big role. Quick challenge for you: scroll through your Instagram feed and show me an influencer with bad teeth. I'll bet you a tube of toothpaste you won't find one.

Hiding my teeth in photos is one thing, but as video and live broadcasts become a bigger and bigger part of what I do, it's gotten much harder to hid them.

Whether I'm interviewing celebs on the red carpet at the National Arts Centre or snapping Insta Stories to show you my favourite skincare, my teeth show up. I even try to talk differently on camera to speak in a way that hides them as much as possible, but they're all I see. I stare at them in every video of myself. My brain tells me other folks stare at them too -- even if in reality they're not.

Taking my next steps at Le Cabinet Dental


I've neglected my teeth for so long that they're not even healthy anymore, which is bad, bad, bad.

So at 5pm today I'm doing something about it. I booked myself an appointment at Le Cabinet Dental and I'm frigging going.

I've had my eye on this Westboro practice since they first opened and here's why:

- they genuinely seem like warm, welcoming folks

- they're located not too far from my home and work

- everything they do looks cutting edge

- they're a women-led practice (YES!)

I had chatted with Dr. Liana Guberman back in 2016 and chickened out, but I got brave again this morning and sent her a note. I told her a bit about my background and my hang ups and she was nothing but gracious and empathetic. And she had an opening this afternoon. So here we go.

I have no idea what to expect but I do think I'll be pretty sore. Eventually I hope to tackle whitening and either braces or Invisalign, but one step at a time. I know it's going to be expensive but I'm grateful to have benefits and will pay for the rest out of pocket. Literally putting my money where my mouth is. I'll let you know how it goes.

Are you working on a better you this year? Are you facing a fear that's been hanging over you for too long? Leave me a comment and we'll help each other get there. Here's to 2018.

All photos by Hello Lovely Studio